Best Places To Stay in Oslo – Tips, and Advice
- Getting around in Oslo: Buy the Oslo Pass for free public transport in the city’s zones 1 and 2. The Oslo Metro’s lines converge through the city center and will quickly take you far. Oslo’s bus network is widely accessible and thoroughly crisscrosses the city. Rent a bike to admire the scenery on a variety of routes, including relaxing flat cycle paths and off-road cycling in the woods.
- Backpacking in Oslo on a Budget: If you don’t want to splurge on accommodation, Overnatting Oslo is a decent hotel that offers each guest a single private room in addition to a kitchen and bathroom that you’ll have to share with others. Travel through the Tøyen neighborhood for low prices, and learn the city center’s layout so you can easily walk to a variety of attractions. Save some cash here and there by eating from one of Oslo’s city-traversing food trucks.
- Where to Eat in Oslo: To eat affordably, see if you can get discounts from your Oslo Pass. Ling-Ling is a Cantonese club dining restaurant suitable for brunch, featuring seasonal ingredients and the city’s best DJs. French-influenced Statholdergaarden boasts an impressive range of wines and an always-changing six-course gourmet menu. Produce-driven Maaemo is Norway’s only Michelin 3-star restaurant and serves acclaimed classic Norwegian dishes.
- Check out Oslo’s World-Class Attractions: Oslo luckily has a compact city center and short distances to major attractions. Take a guided tour through the Medieval-era Akershus Fortress, the former royal residence which is also a venue for concerts. Norway’s famed heritage is on display at the Viking Ship Museum where immaculate craftsmanship will wow you. Stovner Horseback Riding Center offers tour riding and is an open farm where families can interact with animals.
Norway’s capital Oslo is a global city that balances its Viking history with a forward-thinking culture. Known for its bicycle lanes and fresh, sustainable food, Oslo are a European Green Capital and one of the most environmentally friendly cities out there.
Satisfy your inner adventurer in the surrounding Marka forest and when you take a ferry to the Oslofjord. Stay entertained at the city’s shopping hubs and delve into its modern nightlife too. Clearly, Oslo doesn’t lack the stuff to do, but its variety is overwhelming. To take advantage of Oslo’s splendor, narrow down where you need to stay and where you need to go.
Oslo Neighborhood Guide
The 7 Best Areas To Stay In Oslo
1. Oslo City Center
Obviously, Oslo City Center is the very core of the capital, and it’s got something for everyone. Admire historical buildings, relax at cafés, indulge yourself at exquisite restaurants, and go clubbing to discover Oslo’s nightlife.
Gastropub will give you classic foods like spicy sausages, spareribs, and veal shanks with mashed potatoes, as well as one of Oslo’s largest selections of specialty beers.
Fuglen is a high-quality coffee and tea shop with trained baristas well-versed in a variety of drinks. At night, Fuglen transforms into a classic cocktail bar where the bartenders mix innovative cocktails from fresh ingredients. Get into it and try Norwegian bottled beer or wine from the seasonal wine list.
On top of all that, Fuglen is also a vintage design shop where you can buy chairs, tables, lamps, plates, glasses, and more.
Pop into Oslo Bar and Bowling for fun the whole family can appreciate. There’s a bowling alley with 12 lanes, as well as darts, a pool, and a lounge. Bristol Spa contains a range of enticing things, including massages, algae treatments, a Roman bath, and organic teas in its relaxation area.
Make your skin crawl at Oslo Reptile Park, which your Oslo Pass will give you access to for free, where you can gawk at over 100 animals such as dwarf crocodiles, boa constrictors, grass snakes, geckos, frogs, spiders, and monkeys.
If you can stomach it you may watch the animals be fed rats and insects. Hausmania Culture House is chock full of stuff to sink your teeth into. It has three galleries, four theatre groups, an MC club, a skateboard hall, a craft workshop, an internet café, a library, a cinema, and rentable meeting rooms.
Places to Stay:
- ($$$) • Grand Hotel Central 0.7km from Oslo Central Station
- ($$) • Hotel Bristol 0.7km from The Royal Palace Park
- ($) • Scandic Holberg 1.6km from Oslo Bus Terminal
Frogner is a residential and retail borough in Oslo’s West End. It exhibits pricey real estate, while it is Bogstadveien and Hegdehaugsveien streets comprise an established area for nightlife and shopping. In the summer, the Frogner Open-Air Public Bath will let you cool by the pool, brave the waterslide, and bask in the sun. By contrast, the outdoor Frogner Stadium Ice Rink provides chilly recreation.
You can bring your pucks and sticks for raucous fun, and warm up in nearby coffee shops. In the outskirts of Frogner, close to the city center, there’s the National Library of Norway. It provides monthly tours and houses several exhibitions open to the general public.
Frogner’s biggest claim to fame is the largest park in Oslo, the 45-hectare Frogner Park. The park is a popular recreational area for people from all over the city, as there’s plenty of space to enjoy the sun, go for a run, have a picnic or barbecue, walk dogs, and play sports.
Norway’s biggest collection of roses is found here and totals 14,000 plants of 150 different species. You can tour the park’s Frogner Manor House, a part of Oslo City Museum. It features beautiful interiors, and attractions including Bernt Anker’s ballroom, Asta Nørregaard’s portraits, and landscape photos from Oslo in the 1800s.
Within the park is also Vigeland Sculpture Park, which attracts more than a million visitors per year. The largest sculpture park by a single artist in the world, it shows off more than 200 Norwegian artists Gustav Vigeland’s bronze, granite, and cast iron figures.
Places to Stay:
- ($$$) • The Thief 1.1km from Oslo National Theater
- ($$) • Thon Hotel Slottsparken 1.7km from Frogner Park
- ($) • LOTEL Aparthotel Bogstadveien 2.3km from Oslo Central Station
The trendy Grünerløkka is Oslo’s hipster hub, a very arts-and-clothing-oriented neighborhood. At its heart is Parkteatret, an art deco–style movie house and Norway’s first cinema. It was converted into a bar and restaurant, where live music gigs, literary evenings, theater performances, and films occur in the cinema room with seating for 250 people.
The menu has classic cocktails, tempered wines, and lots of craft beers to keep you intrigued.
Further sate your retro needs at Velouria Vintage, where you can buy the clothes of decades gone by. Retrolykke Kaffebar is a charming old-school cafe that happens to sell various vintage items.
The Nighthawk Diner serves up breakfast burritos and buns, pancakes with maple syrup, and its well-loved famous milkshakes. Oslo’s artisanal brewery scene is well-refined in Grünerløkka. Grünerløkka Brygghus is a microbrewery with over 20 types of beer on tap.
The classic pub food and live music are also worth your time. The brewery is known for its beer festival called Oslo Mikrobryggfestival, a backyard jam celebrating the wide variety of microbrewery beers in Oslo. In west Grünerløkka the Mathallen indoor food market will beckon you to try cheese, chocolate, sausages, fish, and vegetables from small-scale producers, and has many options for cafés and restaurants.
This area holds lots of gastronomy events for your culinary pleasure too. Grünerløkka’s western border contains the Akerselva River, where you can have a stroll through scenic views past wooden houses and Maridalsvannet, which is Oslo’s largest lake. There are charming photo-worthy statues, and you can cross a bridge to Grünerløkka’s Brenneriveien for music clubs and arts and crafts.
Places to Stay:
- ($$$) • PS: hotel 1.1km from Oslo Spektrum Music Arena
- ($$) • Scandic Victoria 0.9km from Norwegian National Opera & Ballet
- ($) • Anker Apartment • 0.9km from Munch Museum
Described as Oslo’s most diverse district, Grønland is not to be missed. It has a high immigration percentage, making it a cosmopolitan center that melds the best of old and new. Grønland’s immigrants have gotten to work offering up delectable cuisine, so you’ll find the streets lined with goods from all over the world.
There are exotic spices side by side with Norwegian fish dishes and locally sourced vegetables, appealing to all manner of passers-by.
The multicultural restaurants are certainly no slouch, ranging from Turkish kebabs to Japanese sushi to South Asian jalebi to hamburgers. A testament to this sort of success is the Intercultural Museum. It documents the history of immigration in Norway and cultural changes that have transpired over the years.
Displayed in what were once prison cells is a revolving exhibition of art made by people of different nationalities and backgrounds.
For trendy Norwegian culture, one of Oslo’s largest venues in Oslo Spektrum. It houses 11,000 people and frequently hosts exciting events. This ranges from concerts with international rockstars, to the Eurovision Song Contest, and even the annual Nobel Peace Prize Concert. For a dose of history, check out Grønland Church, sometimes called the cathedral of the east end.
It’s the largest church in Oslo and was built in 1869 by Wilhelm von Hanno. With a capacity of 800 people, Grønland Church is a venue with great acoustics and is home to events like concerts. Satisfy your cultural cravings at the neighborhood’s various galleries, like the artist-run lumberyard gallery called 1857, or the Galleri MAP exhibition space which has striking illustrations and abstract art.
Places to Stay:
- ($$$) • Forenom Aparthotel Oslo 1.4km from Oslo National Theater
- ($$) • Oslo Centrum Apartments 1.2km from Rockefeller Music Hall
- ($) • Central City Apartments 2.4km from DFDS Ferry Terminal Oslo
5. St. Hanshaugen
St. Hanshaugen is a borough of Oslo containing interesting buildings like the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation and Ullevål University Hospital. For gastronomic-style cooking, look for Heim St. Hanshaugen, where you can try halloumi burgers, lamb shank, and more.
St. Hanshaugen Park is a large area where you can get a great view of Oslo from atop the hill. At the hilltop, you can relax in the open-air cafe, or you might go for a walk to admire the eye-catching trees.
Make time for Sr. Hanshaugen’s Bislett neighborhood, a focal point of which is Bislett Stadium. It’s one of Norway’s most well-known sports arenas and is host to the annual Oslo Bislett Games international athletics event. More than 60 athletics world records have been set at Bislett Stadium, which was named by Sports Illustrated as the world’s fifth most important sports arena of the 20th century.
The Stadium’s indoor running track is open to the public all year, and the outdoor track is open to the public when it’s not used for training and competitions. You’ll see some of Oslo’s prettiest apartment blocks while touring St. Hanshaugen, and you should make your way to St. Olavs Plass.
This square, named after Olav the Holy, is at the intersection of St. Olavs gate, Munchs gate, Langes gate, and Universitetsgata, making it a great crossroads for getting around.
A peek into Norway’s past at the quaint and endearing Damstredet and Telthusbakken area, where you’ll find well-preserved wooden houses from hundreds of years ago. The cobbled streets and allotment garden area are worth a few photographs, and nearby there’s Gamle Aker Church to marvel at.
Places to Stay:
- ($$$) • Scandic St. Olavs Plass 1.2km from Aker Brygge
- ($$) • The Apartments Company 1.8km from Oslo National Theater
- ($) • Radisson Blu Park Hotel 4.4km from Vigeland Museum
Bygdøy is a peninsula on the western side of Oslo, a miniature paradise that’s mainly a residential area. Here you can get your brain racing with an abundance of museums. The Norwegian Folk Museum is one of the largest and oldest museums in the world, an open-air location that features folk costumes, handicraft objects, old weapons, a stave church, and traditional Norwegian homes.
The nautical Fram Museum lets you board the strongest wooden ship ever built, while at the Kon-Tiki Museum you can see the explorer Thor Heyerdahl’s famous raft that took him across the Pacific Ocean. For scenic vistas, peruse the Bygdøy birdwatching peninsula where you’ll find Hawfinchs and Stock Doves.
The Paradisbukta beach has a long, sandy shore that’s ideal for surfing, while the Huk beach is a lot of fun with its volleyball court. The majestic Bygdøy Royal Manor will let you play with animals, and the Royal Summer Palace has a surrounding park you’ll want to explore.
The historic Villa Grande is a breathtaking setting for formal events where you can have lunch and dinner in style. The Lantern restaurant serves up delicious stone-oven pizza and sweet views of the Oslofjord.
For the restless tourist, there’s a ferry that will take you to a tiny island just off the shore where you can enjoy scrumptious seafood at Lille Herbert. Throughout the pretty peninsula, there’s plenty of room to go jogging or biking and feel the wind in your hair.
Places to Stay:
- ($$$) • Smart hotel Oslo 0.5km from The Royal Palace Park
- ($$) • P-Hotels Oslo 0.8km from The Royal Palace Park
- ($) • Modern and Central Studio 0.4km from Ibsen Museum
Go to the slick Skøyen district to satisfy many of your shopping and fashion desires. There are over 80 boutiques to meet all kinds of tastes and styles. Try modern urban clothing brands, eclectic Scandinavian curiosities, stylish wedding attire, and children’s stores. There are also homeware and design stores for your beautification needs.
Go for a walk in Skøyenparken, a park close to Skøyen Manor where you can see oak and ash trees. At Maschmanns Matmarked there’s high-quality cheese and seafood, and you can stop by their bakery or pizzeria for creative Norwegian treats. The eminent Santinos restaurant will show you just how well Norway does Italian style with its risotto and wine.